As the Texas Tech football program prepares for what could be the most unusual of home schedules, let’s look back at some of the best home seasons in program history.
This might turn out to be the worst year for the Texas Tech football program to have seven home games. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to limit the number of fans allowed in Jones Stadium this fall (if fans are able to attend at all).
Now, the cynical among us would be quick to point out that a Jones Stadium at half capacity would be nothing new given the paltry crowds that we saw for the final two home games in 2019. But keep in mind that those two games were against TCU and Kansas State (which are far from marquee opponents) and they came at the end of a massively disappointing season.
However, this year, Tech will host three hated conference rivals, Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor as well as PAC 12 foe Arizona. Those would all be games that bring fans out in droves should the stadium be allowed to host maximum capacity.
We won’t get into the debate about whether or not fans will be allowed this year because the truth is that no one on this planet really knows for certain. The opinions and predictions on that topic seem to change on an almost daily basis so there’s no point in speculating.
What we do not have to debate though is that 2020’s home schedule is a rare treat. After all, a bit of luck had to come into play in order for Tech to have 58.3% of its games on its home turf.
Back in 2015, when AD Kirby Hocutt set up a home-and-home series with the Wildcats, he had no idea that by the time Arizona’s trip to Lubbock arrived, the Baylor series would be back on campus after a decade in the DFW area. But that’s what transpired and now, every even year will see the Red Raiders host five conference games and a non-conference tilt against either a Group of 5 or FCS opponent.
Thus, moving forward, we can suspect that Hocutt will do all he can to set up his program with a home game against a Power 5 team in odd-numbered years when Tech has only four Big 12 home dates. Therefore, years like 2020 are likely to be rare.
In fact, this will be the first time since 2009 that Tech has had seven home games in one year. That’s something that has happened just 11 times before 2020.
So let’s go back and take a look at some of the best home seasons Tech has ever had because if 2020 is going to be a success, the Red Raiders are going to need to have a strong showing in their own stadium for the first time in recent memory.